Though most bookstores are closing their doors to the public, you can still buy books from them! And because you believe in our shared responsibility to preserve the wellbeing of those most vulnerable among us, you’re staying home and reading books, right? This past weekend saw many book people taking to Twitter to start recommendation threads and it was really lovely to see. Though the coming months are going to be hard on all of us, the emergence of supportive digital communities (already so crucial for those on the margins) is—and will be—a wonderful thing to see. We’re going to do everything we can to support and amplify these communities, and to help those in need. As such, a lot of these posts are going to be updated regularly.
First up, independent publishing powerhouse and founder of Melville House Dennis Johnson put a call out for indie bookstores to pipe up in his mentions—you can visit the thread below to see for yourself all the great stores across the country who will deliver books, but we’ve organized them by region at the end of this post, and will be adding to this list for as long as it takes.*
Let's get something good going:
Boston indie bookstore @papercutsjp just newslettered a reminder that they sell online – see below.
BOOKSELLER CHUMS: Please reply with the link to your store
READERS: Look for your local below & shop!
— Dennis Johnson (@MobyLives) March 14, 2020
Of course, you can also order from Bookshop.org, a great—and important—alternative to Amazon that shares proceeds of every sale with small, independent stores, and is a much-needed affiliate revenue stream for anyone who covers books online. In the past week, 70 more stores have joined Bookshop. For the next eight weeks, to help support them, indie stores using Bookshop will receive 30% of the cover price of any sale, up from 25%. Bookshop will earn no revenue from those sales.
You can also use BookstoreLink.com to find your nearest indie, and if you like audiobooks, Libro.fm (same people behind BookstoreLink) are offering two-for-one deals if you use the code SHOPBOOKSTORESNOW (and 100 percent of the money goes to the store!).
To support independent bookstores, we have a deal for new members—when you start a membership with code SHOPBOOKSTORESNOW, you’ll get two audiobooks for the price of one and 100% of your payment will go to your bookstore. 📚
— librofm (@librofm) March 15, 2020
Literati, a wonderful bookstore in Ann Arbor has some tips for supporting your local store that go beyond simpling buying books (but still do that!), including signing up for newsletters and organizing digital book clubs.
Without wanting to fear monger, this virus has the potential to be, at best, highly disruptive to Indie bookstores, and at worst, potentially devastating. So, want to support indie bookstores? Here are a few ways:
— Literati Bookstore (@LiteratiBkstore) March 12, 2020
Ally Kirkpatrick, of Old Town Books in Alexandria, VA is looking to bolster income through virtual classes from writers (and it seems to have caught on!).
Authors + agents: My indie bookstore will have to close its doors soon. If I start a series of online classes to help pay our bills and sell books, can you virtually teach a one hour intensive for us? Your book + expertise included in the ticket price and maybe I can stay open.
— Ally Kirkpatrick (@oldtownbooks) March 15, 2020
Long Island’s Book Revue will leave puzzles and socks (and books!) on your doorstep.
Live in our area? We will put the books and socks and puzzles (we are selling so many puzzles) on your doorstep. https://t.co/fPBd62hV0N
— Julie Wernersbach (@JulieWbach) March 15, 2020
Not sure what to order? There are a bunch of great threads out there with recommendations, including these from T Kira Madden, Maris Kreizman, and Raven Bookstore
I’ve been curating reading lists for people on insta to support March-April books taking a hit. I’m sure I’m missing some. Please drop a line here with your book title so I can make sure to include or post w permission. Thanks!
— T Kira Madden (@tkiramadden) March 15, 2020
I'm devastated by all of the book events that are being canceled throughout the country, but I'm glad we're taking all necessary precautions. That said, who wants a book recommendation?
— Maris Kreizman (@mariskreizman) March 10, 2020
Let's start a big ole book recommendation thread.
1⃣ *in a reply to this tweet*, tell us a book you're loving
2⃣ maybe say a word or two about why it's great
3⃣ this is the important part: include a link to the book on an indie bookstore's online store
— Raven Book Store (@ravenbookstore) March 15, 2020
East Bay Book Booksellers compares the purchase of gift certificates to low-interest loans that can help see a store through to the other side of this.
Gift certificates are absolutely amazing during times like these. They cannot be redeemed for online purchases, so they’re only available over the phone (510-653-9965), but they are like little (OR LARGE!) low-interest loans . . . adrenaline to a sucker-punched cash-flow.
— East Bay Booksellers (@EB_Booksellers) March 16, 2020
And for our readers in the UK, here’s Simon Savidge doing a call out for stores that are delivering (see details in thread).
Let’s help out our indie bookshops & loved ones… If you’re an indie bookshop who can deliver books here, there & everywhere (or just locally) please comment below & say where you are & what your website is. Let’s get ordering books for loved ones & ourselves. I’ll retweet all.
— Simon Savidge Shields (and Reads) (@SavidgeReads) March 15, 2020
And here is some calming advice from Tayari Jones for debut writers: “Your book… is not a carton of milk. It won’t expire.”
Dear Debut Authors, I know it feels like Covid19 is stealing your moment. Please believe me when I say that you will have another moment. And your book is out there. It's not a carton of milk. It won't expire.
— Tayari Jones (@tayari) March 15, 2020
Joshua Roark at Frontier Poetry is organizing a virtual book tour for poets.
Just got an email from a poet with the wonderful idea of doing a "blog tour" for his new book. If any poets out there, preferably debut authors, have a spring/summer release scheduled—hit me or @FrontierPoetry up. We want to be a stop on your digital tour!
— Joshua Roark (@JoshuaRoarkPoet) March 15, 2020
The lovely Robert Macfarlane is setting up a Twitter reading group, #CoReadingVirus. (Our vote for first book is Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer.)
The #CoReadingVirus Twitter Reading Group gathers pace. Wondering between:
1) Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer
2) The Living Mountain, Nan Shepherd
3) Middlemarch, George Eliot
All available as books, ebooks & audio. All by women. All astonishing.
Which would you choose? https://t.co/OeOnv2dIfv
— Robert Macfarlane (@RobGMacfarlane) March 15, 2020
And Maris Kreizman, providing an easy way to donate to the employees of McNally Jackson, who were laid off while the stores are closed:
You can donate right here to the nearly 80 McNally-Jackson booksellers who were temporarily laid off yesterday. Let's help keep them afloat in this trying time. Solidarity. https://t.co/21csyZcSf9
— Maris Kreizman (@mariskreizman) March 17, 2020
The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) has had the most financial assistance requests on record in the past couple days, with several booksellers asking for help every hour. The good news is that the book community is also making major contributions: on just Monday, $44,000 was raised through a generous gift-matching challenge by literary agent Steven Malk of Writers House and Beacon Press. There is another gift-matching challenge occurring now: every dollar up to $41,000 will be matched. Donate here!
Order from these independent bookstores:
*To add your store to the following list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
With reporting by Julia Hass
Bay Area, CA
Booksmith · Green Apple Books · City Lights · Corte Madera Book Passage · East Bay Booksellers · Santa Cruz Bookshop · Menlo Park Kepler’s · Point Reyes Books · East Wind Books of Berkeley · Napa Bookmine · Flashlight Books · Books Inc · Walden Pond Books · Alexander Book Company · Orinda Books
Los Angeles, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
San Diego, CA
Rehoboth Beach, DE
Delray Beach, FL
Key West, FL
Punta Gorda, FL
St. Simon’s Island, GA
South Bend, IN
New Orleans, LA
Harvard Bookstore · Brookline Booksmith · Trident Booksellers · Porter Square Books · Belmont Books · Papercuts J. P. · Frugal Bookstore · Wellesley Bookstore · More Than Words · Brattle Bookshop · Bookshop of Beverly Farms
East Sandwich, MA
Ann Arbor, MI
Oak Park, MI
East Lansing, MI
St. Paul, MN
St. Louis, MO
Chapel Hill, NC
Wake Forest, NC
Winston Salem, NC
Las Vegas, NV
Hudson Valley, NY
Saratoga Springs, NY
Shaker Heights, OH
Hood River, OR
New Hope, PA
Salt Lake City, UT
Saint George, UT
Manchester Center, VT
Port Angeles, WA